Guido A. Binda Lecture: Brian Leary, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
Brian Leary is the President & CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. ‐ the organization planning and executing the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the largest, most wide‐ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. The BeltLine is a $3+ billion project that will shape the way Atlanta grows over the next 25 years and beyond. When complete, it will provide a network of public parks, multi‐use trails, transit, public art and thousands of units of affordable housing along a historic 22‐mile railroad corridor circling downtown Atlanta, connecting 45 neighborhoods directly to each other.
Prior to joining the Beltline team, Brian oversaw the design and development of Atlantic Station – the largest urban brownfield redevelopment in the nation and its 13.5M square foot master plan. After joining the team in 1997, he developed the master plan into a National model for Smart Growth and new urbanism. Brian successfully negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Atlantic Station, and the new 17th Street bridge, to become the first project of its kind in the United States and also led a national coalition to create a $2 billion alternative energy and energy efficiency program with the U.S. Treasury and EPA.
Prior to Atlantic Station, Brian worked for Atlanta’s downtown development organization, Central Atlanta Progress (CAP). With CAP and COPA, Inc. (the non‐profit development arm for the Centennial Olympic Park area) Brian helped implement the first tax‐increment‐financing district in the State of Georgia, the Centennial Park area overlay zoning district and expansion of the Downtown Improvement District (DID).
Brian is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture with an undergraduate degree in architecture with minor concentrations in land development and real estate, and holds a master’s degree in City Planning from Georgia Tech as well. While focusing on transportation and land development in graduate school, he finished a redevelopment plan for the Atlantic Steel property that would provide the basis for Atlantic Station.
Over the years, Brian has spoken to groups across the United States on Smart Growth, mixed‐use real estate development and leadership. He has presented on Capitol Hill, to NAIOP, the National Partners for Smart Growth, the Real Estate Roundtable, the Urban Land Institute and previously served on AIG’s international Sustainability Committee. He has been published nationally and has taught at Georgia Tech.
Among many non‐work commitments, Brian serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committees of Leadership Atlanta and the Livable Communities Coalition, on Emory University’s Board of Visitors and the Governing Board of Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. He is active on the Board of the Northwest Community Alliance – representing over 20 neighborhoods in Atlanta and is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), CEOs for Cities, Rotary Club of Atlanta, PATH, the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Atlanta Police Foundation. Brian graduated in the inaugural class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, is an alumni of the Atlanta Regional Leadership Institute, served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council’s Academe, Policy & Research Committee, the Mayor’s Institute for City Design, the Board of Directors for Georgians for Passenger Rail, and at the request of the Mayor, previously served as Chairman of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee.